Document Type



Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research

Publication Date



Agricultural and Resource Economics | Leisure Studies | Nature and Society Relations | Other Social and Behavioral Sciences | Regional Economics


This report is a summary of Montana residents and their self-reported use of public lands and waterways during 2020 compared to previous years. Data were collected from January 1st to March 31st of 2021. As a result of the pandemic, the number of people participating in outdoor recreation in certain parts of the country increased significantly – Montana being one of those places. Public lands and waterways, like state and federally managed parks, reported record visitation numbers for some months of 2020. In addition, anecdotal reports from public land managers and tourism partners also suggests that the level of use on public lands and waterways for 2020 was higher than in previous years. This study was conducted to determine if residents’ perceptions about their personal public land and waterway use has changed when comparing their self-reported use in 2020 to 2019.


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